TV shows, discos and big shows: the drag scene It is no longer for a select audience. That attention is great for performers, but it also has a downside: In America, there’s a threat to ban drag shows. Envy Peru, jury in Make up your mind and winner of Drag Race Netherlandsis pleased that in the Netherlands we pay a lot of attention to this art form.
Andy van der Meijde, Barry Atsma, Frank Dane and Peter R. de Vries as drag queen: in the TV show Make up your mind Happens. Fully made up, wearing gorgeous wigs and wobbling on high heels, the men walk down a runway. His drag qualities are judged by a jury consisting of Nikkie de Jager, Fred van Leer and several drag queens, including Envy Peru.
“The show shows how colorful our community is and that drag is for everyone. That’s why straight men and women also participate in the show,” Peru tells NU.nl. The new season will start on RTL4 on Saturday, April 8.
The terms drag queens and transvestites are often used interchangeably. However, they are not the same. “A transvestite is someone who dresses up as a woman and usually gets turned on. There’s something sexual about that,” Peru explains.
“Drag is an art form and drag queens are artists. You can tell them by their spectacular shows, fancy makeup, hair and clothes.” Outside of performances, a drag queen goes through life as herself. So is Envidia Perú, 33, who in everyday life is called Boris Itzkovich Escobar.
Known Dutchmen are amazed by the time and work.
The celebrities who participate Make up your mind they are amazed at the time a metamorphosis takes, says Peru. And that while receiving help from a great team. “As drag queens we don’t have that luxury, we do everything ourselves.”
And that takes a long time, Peru knows it better than anyone. With her performances he won the first season of the Dutch version of the American show. RuPaul’s Drag Race. That earned him a huge audience.
But Escobar developed Envidia Peru years before. The character was created eight years ago and refers to the Peruvian origin of the interpreter. “Performing as a drag queen gives me a feeling of complete freedom of expression. I am happy to be able to do this work in the Netherlands. That is not evident in other countries. In more than seventy countries, homosexuality is a criminal offense and in eleven countries can even receive the death penalty”.
At least 14 US states want to ban drag shows
Other countries do not always view drag shows as harmless entertainment. The US state of Tennessee passed a law last month banning “adult cabaret performances” in public places or in the presence of minors. Among other things, the bill prohibits “men or women from providing entertainment that could be perceived as sexual.”
The law places drag queens in the same category as strippers or topless dancers. People who break the law can be fined or even imprisoned for up to six years.
Just before Tennessee introduced the law, a judge temporarily blocked it. According to the judge, the law restricts the freedom of citizens. The law would also contain vague language, which still raises too many questions.
That does not mean that the law will never come into effect. And at least 14 other US states are lining up to implement similar bans on drag performances.
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‘I will never walk the streets alone like a drag queen’
Peru finds it ridiculous that drag queens are equated with strippers. “There is nothing sexual about drag queens. Also, in America they have bigger concerns than drag shows,” she says. “No child has ever been killed by a drag queen. Our community is now under attack to distract people from the real issues, like gun violence.”
Drag queens are also not accepted in all parts of the Netherlands. “In big cities, people are not easily surprised when they see me walking. Outside they don’t always understand what we do as drag queens, which is art. Sometimes I get insulted on the street and my colleagues have also been physically attacked. That’s why the one I will never walk the streets alone like a drag queen,” says Peru.
“It helps if well-known Dutch people make a clear statement: you can be whoever you want to be. Especially someone like Peter R. de Vries, who many never expected to become. Being on the show was such a meaningful experience.” and iconic moment. Thanks to him, more celebrities also dared to participate.”
Peru: “A program like Make up your mind It is important, because it contributes to the acceptance and normalization of drag queens. As drag queens, we want to be able to do our job safely. Drag is an art form that has been around forever. The only difference is that now we are more visible.”